The Philadelphia Eagles, the defending Super Bowl champions, will clash with the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley this weekend and NFL betting is sure to go through the roof in the UK.
<p>NFL fever will sweep through Britain again this weekend as the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars lock horns for a regular-season game at Wembley Stadium. The Eagles are the reigning Super Bowl champions after vanquishing the heavily fancied New England Patriots with a gutsy performance last season. The Jags have played several games in London over the years and they have built up something of a cult following among British NFL fans. There will be a huge amount of interest in the game, and it is sure to generate widespread media coverage and a tremendous social media buzz, so betting on it will be huge.</p><p>The NFL’s decision to play regular-season games in London on an annual basis has paid dividends, as there are now 1.9 million American football fans in the UK. Last year, when the Jets took on the Dolphins in London, bookmaker William Hill reported a 300% increase in wagers compared to a normal regular season match. “We always see a spike in NFL turnover when it comes to the UK and every year that number grows,” said spokesman Joe Crilly, adding that the collective appetite for the sport is growing across the UK and in continental Europe.</p><p>The New England Patriots are the most popular NFL team among British fans, largely down to their continued success over the past decade. The Jags bizarrely do not rank in the top 10, despite widespread rumours that the franchise will eventually relocate to London. But they do enjoy a real diehard following among some Brits thanks to their regular visits. Meanwhile, the Eagles soared in popularity ahead of their Super Bowl appearance.</p><p>Their running back, Jay Ajayi, is from London and he was afforded huge media coverage before and after the big game on this side of the pond. He became the face of a fantastic underdog story that really captured the imagination of the British public. The Eagles were among the Super Bowl favourites after making a blistering start to the 2017 season, but that all fell apart when superstar quarterback Carson Wentz suffered a season-ending injury. Suddenly the odds on them seizing glory drifted way out, such is the extreme importance of the QB to an American football team’s chances of success.</p><p>The Eagles were widely written off, but the players embraced their underdog status and began wearing dog masks. It caught on among the fans, and defiance became the order of the day as Philadelphia pulled off upset after upset to surge into the Super Bowl. Reserve QB Nick Foles stepped up in style and – against all the odds – he got the better of the legendary Tom Brady in the big game. Gatorade was dumped on Doug Pederson, and Eagles fans partied on the streets of Philadelphia like there was no tomorrow.</p><p>The Eagles were among the favourites to win the Super Bowl this season, but they have made a sluggish start. Foles struggled and a fit-again Wentz is now back in the team, but they have not looked entirely convincing. Last weekend they contrived to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory against the Carolina Panthers. They have drifted all the way out to 25/1 with <a href="https://a.bookmakersreview.com/record/v?c=147&a=e605009c-af6d-4596-a06f-dbd28d37b12f">Bet365</a> to win the Super Bowl, and they need to start winning to improve their 3-4 record.</p><p>The Jags are also 3-4 and they are 55/1 with <a href="https://a.bookmakersreview.com/record/v?c=147&a=32b59d0e-2bfb-43ac-987d-fd24429abae0">Betfair</a> to go on and win the Super Bowl this season. The Eagles are the clear favourites to win this game: <a href="https://a.bookmakersreview.com/record/v?c=132&a=4d1545c6-88ce-4d1a-b541-31ea9e8a0d9b&f=2">Sky Bet</a> has a market leading 8/13 on Philadelphia, while <a href="https://a.bookmakersreview.com/record/v?c=147&a=45a32028-f668-4cc0-b786-c8ac9d4db1f7">Ladbrokes</a> has the best price on the Jaguars (29/20). However, the Jags love playing in London: they have been underdogs on their last three visits to the UK capital and they have won all three games. The Eagles are 2-5 against the spread this year, the joint worst mark in the NFL, and this is their first trip to London, so they will not be as familiar with the conditions. Everything points to Jacksonville covering the spread, and <a href="https://a.bookmakersreview.com/record/v?c=147&a=87e126f9-4229-4364-9464-7fbff2763146">William Hill</a> and Ladbrokes have 10/11 on Jacksonville +3. But you cannot escape the notion that the Eagles are just the better team. They will miss the injured Ajayi, who will be devastated at missing out on a game in his home city, but Wentz looks back to his best and that could make all the difference. Jacksonville have lost three in a row, and their offensive line is a mess, riddled with personnel questions, so Philadelphia -3 appeals in this big game.</p>